Tennis: Nadal bests McEnroe’s 34-year-old record

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal became a history maker on Thursday in Madrid as a 6-3 6-4 win over Diego Schwartzman saw the clay court serial winner eclipse John McEnroe’s single-surface record of 49 straight sets, achieved at Queens in 1984.

After his 11th title wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, Nadal’s march to the quarterfinals at the Mutua Madrid Open enabled him to continue his record setting journey on clay.

It was also his 14th consecutive victory on clay in 2018 even though he said those numbers would count more after he is retired.

“I really don’t think much about that. All these things, probably after I finish my career will be the time to think about it.

“I won a difficult match against a very difficult player that played well.” Nadal will face familiar clay foe, Dominic Thiem in the quarters.

Meanwhile, Friday was a day when some top seeds were sent tumbling out of the tournament on the men and women’s sides.

Kyle Edmund beat David Goffin; the younger Denis Shapovalov won the Canadian battle with Milos Raonic. World No. 95-ranked Dusan Lajovic ousted fourth seed, Juan Martin del Potro.

In the women’s draw; Kiki Bertens beat 2014 champion Maria Sharapova in three sets to reach her first WTA tour semifinal while Karolina Pliskova overcame a 1-6 head-to-head debit to beat the No.1 seed, Simona Halep in two straight sets.

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